Me: “I’m a marketing major.”
Literally any student at UT: “Cool! So like advertising, right?”
It’s a marketing major’s worst nightmare. We so desperately want people to understand we’re in McCombs but also are ~lowkey~ happy we’re not associated with the negative business major stereotypes. But what really is the difference between marketing and the other majors in Moody and how do you explain it to everyone else?
Let’s start with the technical definitions and focus on marketing and P.R. The American Marketing Association defines marketing as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have values for customers, clients, partners and society at large.”
The Chartered Institute of Public Relations defines P.R. as the “discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behavior. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organization and its public.”
Be honest. Did you even read all those words?
Here’s a simpler way of looking at it:
The goal of marketing is to determine the ideal target market and customer that a company should sell to and to create a strategy to reach them.
Public Relations, on the other hand, strives to create an active dialogue with the target audience with the aim of developing a positive image and reputation.
These two fields are complementary and go hand-in-hand. When an understanding is garnered between a business and the public through P.R., a marketer’s job is infinitely easier and vice versa. When the target market is truly understood by a marketer, establishing a relationship is far easier.
But if they’re so similar and depend on one another, why are these majors not in the same school?
What sets the two apart is that marketing goes beyond simple outreach to consumers. It includes identifying the market and its needs, using the company’s product or service to address those needs, distinguishing their products from competitors, and developing new products. Marketing encompasses more of the business world than one might think at first glance while P.R. is understandably located in Moody because of the heavy communication skills needed to thrive in that career path.
So, the next time you find yourself explaining your major, just remember these quick facts to help you boost your argument. You never know, maybe you’ll end up educating your classmates.
Written by: Omama Qureshi